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Sunday, November 4, 2012

The DaiGohonzon is Fake

The arguments put forth by Nittatsu and Toda for the authenticity of the DaiGohonzon are very weak. Although hardly a learned man, I would like to take the opportunity to scrutinize their refutation of Bentetsu Yasui’s book, The Wooden Gohonzon is a Fabrication.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 1: Mandalas written on boards of this type are typical of the Hokke fraternities and Hokke Halls of the Muromachi Period (post 1333).

Rebuttal: In _What Fuji School Believers Should Know_ (Fuji isseki monto zonchi no koto), Nikko Shonin writes: “I hear from various people that some disciples of Nichiren Shonin slight his Gohonzons by carving some of them into wooden ones and confer them upon those with no faith. They are Niko, Nitcho, Nisshun and other’s.”

Bentetsu Yasui, the author of The Wooden Gohonzon Is a Fabrication (Ita Honzon Gisaku Ron), who claims the Dai-Gohonzon is counterfeit, uses the above statement of Nikko’s to point out that the second high priest was strict about creating a wooden Gohonzon.

However, in the above quotation, we find that Nikko Shonin was strict about conferring the Gohonzon upon non-believers and also that the Daishonin’s immediate disciples such as Niko, Nitcho, Nisshun and others employed the method of engraving the Daishonin’s original Gohonzons onto wood. This fact indicates that wooden Gohonzons were common during the time of Nikko Shonin long before the Muromachi period, which invalidates the point that the wooden Gohonzon couldn’t have existed before the Muromachi period.

Kempon Hokke:

The view put forth by Bentetsu is an “and/or” proposition: Both converting Gohonzon to wooden objects and/or bestowing Gohonzon to believers who lack sufficient faith, are to be frowned upon. There is absolutely no support that this statement of Nikko confirms that converting scroll Gohonzons to wooden ones was a common practice during this time period.

Where are the many other wooden Gohonzons from this time period? Nittatsu has utilized the word “fact” above where no fact exists. Taisekaji is famous for stating “fact” when no fact exists. It is more likely that Niko, Nitchu, and Nisshun began this erroneous practice. Good thing for Nichiren Shoshu that you can not accurately scrutinize the writing on a wooden Gohonzon or everyone would know that no wooden Gohonzon was inscribed by Nikko.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 2: Nikko never mentions this so-called Supreme Mandala.

Rebuttal: In his _Transfer Document to Nichimoku_ (Nikko ato jojo no koto), the original of which exists at Taiseki-ji, Nikko Shonin states: “I transfer to Nichimoku the great Gohonzon of the second year of Koan that was entrusted upon myself, Nikko. It should be enshrined at the Honmon-ji temple. “The great Gohonzon of the second year of Koan that was entrusted upon myself, Nikko” obviously signifies the “Wooden Gohonzon Inscribed on October 12, 1279, for All Humanity (Dai-Gohonzon)”. The “Honmon-ji temple” in this quote means a building where this particular Gohonzon should be enshrined at the time of kosen-rufu.

Kempon Hokke::

This document, contrary to Taisekaji’s assertation of its originality is not in Nikko’s hand. If there existed something in Nikko’s hand that mentions the DaiGohonzon the Nichiren Shoshu would have made it widely available. The FACT IS, they have rarely let anything purportedly written by Nikko, Nichimoku, Nichido or others (up to Nichiu) that supposedly supports the existence of the DaiGohonzon, to be seen by anyone and those rare times they have, the writings were proven to be copies or forgeries.

Since it is a Taisekaji document and not in Nikko’s hand, it can in no way be cited as an independent source of verification. None of the other Nikko schools believe it is authentic, not one. Nikko has written hundreds of documents, preserved and in his hand. Where are any other citations, to this, “the prime point of the Daishonin’s advent”. Certainly, no DaiGohonzon is mentioned in the Daishonin’s writings nor is it mentioned by Niko, Nitcho, Nishun, Nissho’s or by anybody else.

Nikko never mentions this so-called “dai gohonzon” in any of his authenticated writings. The first mention of the details about the so-called “dai gohonzon” was recorded in the “Kechu Sho” which dates from 1662. Even there, the reference has been tampered with. There are no reliable historical documents that mention the so-called “dai gohonzon”. Nichiren never mentions it, Nikko never mentions it. The first word of it is in 1488, when Nichi-u announces it to the world. This “ita mandara” was attacked by Nichijo, head priest of Kitayama Hommonji, a contemporary of Nichi-u. Nichijo reports that Nichi-u had become a leper, a severe retribution for “having gone against the fundamental intention of the founder of the temple, and the carving the ita mandara, which had never been seen or heard of; he also produced forged books adorned with his own doctrines” (from the “Taisekiji Kyowaku Kempon Sho” or “The Insane Revelation of the Original Buddha at Taisekiji”, written by Nichijo.) Note that Nikko spent the last 36 years of his life at this Kitayamam Hommonji and his grave (which faces Minobusan, not Taisekiji) is there. This Hommonji was probably the best candidate for the “Hommonji” that is mentioned in the forged “transfer document” cited above by Nittatsu.

The name, “Taisekiji” cannot be mistaken for “Hommonji”. Nikko left four authentic mandalas by Nichiren at Kitayama Hommonji. He added, in his own handwriting, the following inscriptions , “Hanging it up in the Hommonji, one should make it the esteemed jewel of the Latter Age”. Each of these four mandalas has such an inscription from Nikko. These mandalas ended up at several other Nikko temples, but the reference to “Hommonji” at Kitayama is irrefutable. Of the eight Nikko temples, four received authentic Nichiren Gohonzons. Taisekiji did not receive such a prize from Nikko at all. Nikko never mentions a supreme board mandala. If he left this supreme treasure at Taisekiji, then he NEVER again returned to Taisekiji to see it, nor did he orient his grave toward it. His instructions regarding his grave, in his own handwriting, is that it face Minobusan. This would be an unthinkable breech of etiquette if a “Supreme- gohonzon” was left at Taisekiji. Nikko left Taisekiji after only 18 months there, and he spent the rest of life at Kitayama Hommonji, never returning to Taisekiji again.”

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 3: The so-called “Ita Mandara” is allegedly inscribed by Nippo. But he never worked on Minobusan (Mt. Minobu). He only carved a posthumous statue of Nichiren. It is sculpted in camphor wood, which would not have been readily available in the climate of Minobusan.

Rebuttal: A detailed record of how Nichiren Daishonin lived on Mt. Minobu does not exist. We can only know about it through whatever is mentioned in the Gosho and Nikko Shonin’s writings. It is commonly acknowledged that Nippo carved a posthumous statue of Nichiren Daishonin. Nikko Shonin chose to leave Mt. Minobu due to his confrontation with Lord Hakiri, which was caused by the lord’s four major slanderous acts. The most significant issue must have been which object of worship should be enshrined at the main hall in the temple on Minobu. Lord Hakiri, while attached to the statue of Shakyamuni, did not regard the Wooden Gohonzon as the true object of worship. He attempted to build a new statute of Shakyamuni and enshrine it as the key object of worship in the main hall. From this we can infer that the Wooden Gohonzon had been enshrined there and also that Lord Hakiri wanted to replace it with a statue of Shakyamuni. After Nikko Shonin sadly left Mt. Minobu with his disciple, Hyakkan-bo, carrying the Wooden Gohonzon on his back, Shakyamuni’s statue was enshrined in the main hall at the Minobu temple. Former High Priest Nittatsu states in his lecture on “Letter to Jakunichi,” which he presented at Hokei-ji temple on September 16, 1972:

“Some say that the camphor wood did not grow in Minobu alleging that the weather in Minobu is too cold for this wood to correct. They claim that the camphor corrects only in warm areas such as Fuji or Suruga. It is not true, however. There is a temple of the Minobu sect named Ho’on-ji and situated on the road that is close to Mt. Minobu. And even today, a huge camphor tree, which is about 1200 or 1300 years old, is correcting in its correct. From this we can safely infer that there could have been a similar 600- or 700-year-old camphor tree on Mt. Minobu during the time of Nichiren Daishonin.” (Complete Works of Nittatsu Shonin, Volume 3, No. 2, p. 475)

A Nichiren Shoshu member added (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY):

In the Jogyo Shoden-sho, written by Nichiren in 1282, Nichiren describes the three statues, and the one plank mandala called the Kaidan-in Honzon (Honmon Kaidan DaiGohonzon) that Nippo engraved from a log he found in a river. This Gohonzon was based on the Kaidan-in Honzon that Nichiren inscribed. The Kaidan-in Honzon is referred to in NichirenShoshu as the DaiGohonzon.

The Biography of Nippo states:
.

“It says in the Jogyo Shoden-sho (written in 1282) ‘Nippo wanted to carve a statue of Nichiren. He prayed to Shichimen Daimyojin. Was it a response (kannou) to his prayers? He found a log floating in the river. He used it to engrave the Kaidan-in Honzon. Next, he made statues of Nichiren. Altogether, three statues. One of the statues is just 3 su-n (9 centimeters) tall.’ The Daishou (Buddha, ie., Nichiren) inscribed the Kaidan-in Honzon (DaiGohonzon) and Nippo engraved it. This is the present plank Honzon. That is, it is the Gohonzon that was in the Grand Hall at Minobu. Because of Nippo’s long and masterful expertise as an artisan, he made one statue of the Daishou 3 su-n (9 cm.) tall….The plank Honzon and statues are now at Fuji…. When Nikko left Minobu, Nippo left with him.” Nippo Den/Biography of Nippo, Fuji Seiten, pgs. 731-732

Kempon Hokke:


The Daigohonzon weighs close to 500 pounds. "...carrying the wooden Gohonzon on his back..." Nittatsu and Toda were either so arrogant that they thought everyone would automatically accept their teachings without a modicum of thought or reflection or so stupid that they couldn't see their glaring error.

Nittatsu writes, referring to Nikko's dispute with Niko and Lord Hakiri, "The most significant issue must have been which object of worship should be enshrined at the main hall in the temple on Minobu." This is a fact and has been acknowledged by both parties [Nikko and Niko]. However, neither mentions the so-called DaiGohonzon as one of the objects in question in their authenticated writings. "Must have been" is not good enough while deprecating Nichiren's authentic Gohonzons in favor of the inauthentic plank Gohonzon [Ita Mandara]. Nikko in his authenticated work, Hara Dono Go Henji, only mentions Lord Hakiri's "slander" of commissioning a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha as the object of worship and Niko's "slander" for allowing it to be enshrined [with a copy of the Lotus Sutra placed before it]. 

Rev. Yasahara, a Nichiren priest in Japan added:

Question: John Ayres, a Taisekiji Believer quotes from the “Jogyo Shoden-sho” using it as a tool to support their case that the DaiGohzonon is authentic. We in America have no access to such a document.

Answer [by Rev. Yasuhara]: John Ayres mentions the “Jogyo Shoden-sho’. I think it is also called Matsunodono Gosho”. This Gosho is also a down-right forgery. Indeed this Gosho is included in the Fuji Seiten but they themselves state in the Fuji Seiten that this Gosho should not be trusted because it is a forgery for it differs from the historical fact.

One reason they themselves have had to admit that it is a forgery is because it says ‘Nippo wanted to carve a statue of Nichiren. He Prayed to Shichimen Daimyojiu. Was it a response to his prayers? He found a log floating in the river…. If they insist that it is true, they must admit that he was allowed to pray to Shichimen Daimyojin (a goddess dragon with seven faces) which is not only a a heresy but actually, the faith in Shichimen Daimyojin arose among the people during the ages considerably after the extinction of Nichiren Daishonin.

And another reason is that this Gosho praises Nippo excessively:

“To have faith in only Nippo means to have faith in Nichiren”.

If they admit this, they have to rank Nippo above Nikko, that is inconvenient for them. The course of events was that they forged this Gosho in order to demonstrate that Ita-Mandara was not forged by Nichi-u but was carved by Nippo, in opposition to the attack (Taisekiji-Ouwaka-Kempon-Show, etc.) by Nichi-jo. head priest of Kitayama Hommonji. However, they were so attached to making a lie about Nippo at that time that they unknowingly forged a Gosho which embarrassed themselves later.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 4: Even Hori Nichiko, the most learned Taisekiji priest of this century with access to all the resources of Taisekiji, could not come up with any historical source for “Yashiro Kunishige,” the recipient of the Ita Mandara. He writes in his Selected Works of the Fuji School (Fuji shugaku yoshu): “I do not know the basis for the matter of Yashiro Kunishige.”

Rebuttal: In his “Refuting ‘The Wooden Gohonzon Is a Fabrication,’” the former high priest, Nittatsu, states: “As long as it is a historical fact that Nichiren Daishonin inscribed this Gohonzon in October 1279, in conjunction with the Atsuhara Incident, there is no doubt that the Daishonin has Atsuhara martyrs in mind as the recipients of this Gohonzon. If we seek to find the name of Yashiro among the Atsuhara farmers in historical records, we can come across several Yashiros among the believers of the Daishonin’s time. And Jinshiro and his younger brother Yagoro played a major role in the Atsuhara Incident. In this regard, we can assert that Jinshiro was exactly the very person Nichiren Daishonin meant by Yashiro.” (p. 19) According to Nittatsu, the character jin can be construed to have been used as an honorific expression on behalf of the character ya.

Kempon Hokke:

Nittatsu begins by postulating as fact that which has been proven to be false. Then, he states, “the character jin could have been construed to have been used as an honorific expression on behalf of the character ya.” Construed by whom?

The most learned Taisekaji High Priest of the 20th Century stated: “I do not know the basis for the matter of Yashiro Kunishage.” Obviously Hori Nichiko didn’t construe that. Why should he have? Never before and never after had Nichiren used the honorific title “jin.” On the other hand, he used other honorific titles with regularity.

Toda:

“Some slanderous people say: ‘The recipient of the Dai-Gohonzon is Yashiro Kunishige. But such a person did not exist among the Hokke fraternities.’ Some regard him as one of the three Atsuhara martyrs, while others assert that he is a son of Lord Nanjo. However, many agree that it is a fictitious name, which makes sense to me.

“The question is why Nichiren Daishonin chose Yashiro Kunishige as the recipient of the Dai-Gohonzon. You cannot uderstand this question unless you are deeply versed in Buddhism. It does not make sense to those who have not mastered Buddhist views. However, once you fully understand the essence of Buddhism, this riddle becomes an easy question.

“Some wonder: ‘Since the Daishonin entrusted the Dai-Gohonzon upon Nikko Shonin, why didn’t he choose Nikko Shonin as its recipient?’ It is because if Nichiren Daishonin had chosen Nikko Shonin, the Dai-Gohonzon could not be said to have been inscribed for all humanity. The ‘Gohonzon for All Humanity’ is something that should be conferred upon the person who propagates Nam-myoho-renge-kyo throughout the world and builds a high sanctuary in the future by spreading it first in Japan….

Kempon Hokke:

This makes absolutely no sense. Think about it, the Gohonzon for the Transmission of the Law in 1281 was conferred to Nissho but the Gohonzon For All Humanity was not conferred to Nikko? The statement, “The Gohonzon for All Humanity “, referring to the DaiGohonzon, is a ridiculous statement that demonstrates either Toda’s ignorance or deisengenuousness since 93 of the extant 128 Gohonzons have similar inscriptions.

Then, going on to say it was conferred on Kunishige, “the person who propagates Namu Myoho renge kyo throughout the world” is just more of the same wild conjecture as postulated by Nittatsu only Toda didn’t even have the honesty to say “could have been construed”. Furthermore, the histories of Nichiren’s great lay disciples have been handed down to posterity in the Gosho. Not Yashiro’s, however. The person who “propagates Namu Myoho renge kyo to the world.” and not a mention of his great deeds. That is impossible for so considerate a Master as Nichiren.

Nittatsu/Toda

Toda:

“In the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni talks to Shariputra who is already deceased. He could do so because he was talking to Shariputra within his own life….

Kempon Hokke:

Shariputra was known to have existed during the last years of the Buddha’s lifetime. According to the Pali Canon, he died a few months before the Buddha. The analogy is baseless.

Toda:

“In a like manner, Yashiro Kunishige represents all those who propagate the Lotus Sutra. In other words, he is Yashiro Kunishige within the life of Nichiren Daishonin. Yashiro Kunishige does not have to denote a historical figure. There is no problem at all even if he did not exist historically.

Kempon Hokke:

More conjecture, Why is Toda trying so hard to sell this point to his disciples when Hori Nichiko merely stated: “I do not know the basis for the matter of Yashiro Kunishige.” Why didn’t Hori conjecture or make up stories? Why did Toda feel the need to do so? One reason is that Toda never had the humility to say, I don’t know about anything. The other reason is that Bentetsu’s book had not yet been published.

Toda:

“It is a scientific approach to examine the matter historically and conclude that things should be this way or that. From a Buddhist perspective, however, since Nichiren Daishonin dedicated the Dai-Gohonzon to Yashiro Kunishige within his own life, Yashiro signifies an ideal individual, an ideal votary of the Lotus Sutra.

Kempon Hokke:

Nichiren said it was Shakyamuni who entered his head, not Yashiro Kunishage. By Toda’s insipid reasoning, Nichiren should have dedicated the DaiGohonzon to Shakyamuni. More conjecture, more construing.

Toda:

In this regard, whether he actually existed in the past or not does not matter (Complete Works of Josei Toda, Volume 2, pp. 15-19).

Kempon Hokke:

For something that does not matter, Toda sure has done a lot of conjecturing and construing. A simple, “I do not know the basis for the matter of Yashiro Kunishige.”, would have sufficed.

The Nichiren Shoshu’s and SGI’s lies beget lies and invariably they are revealed as we have done above with rebuttals to rebuttals of allegations # 1, # 2, #3 and # 4 Why do you have lies and forgeries in your corpus [canon]?. It is easy to disprove every rebuttal to every allegation (except the fifth and the last one). However, since it will be proven that at least 9 of 10 of the rebuttals of allegations are false, it would be honorable to abandon the Nichiren Shoshu and the SGI which are the two most distorted renditions off the Daishonin’s teachings.

Toda/Nittatsu:

Allegation 5: The handwriting of the “Ita Mandara” is from the third year of Koan (1280), not the second year of Koan, which is the formal date on this mandara (1279). It is quite probable that the forgery was taken from a genuine mandara now at Myokaiji in Numazu near Fuji (Yamanaka, V.1, p. 302, No. 36). The size of the daimoku is consistent with the twelve gohonzons that were made by Nichiren in 1280. The twelve that he made in 1279 are only 5/8th the size of the ones of 1280. Also, the “secret” marks denote April of 1280. Nichiren’s gohonzons are all dated in this “secret code” of Nichiren’s, perhaps because Nichiren wanted to guard against forgery.

Rebuttal: Since the Dai-Gohonzon is the ultimate Gohonzon that the Daishonin inscribed for all humanity, it can be naturally different in the choice of the size of the characters of daimoku from other Gohonzons inscribed in 1279 for individual believers.

Actually, Myokaiji’s mandara is a copy of the Gohonzon Nichiren Daishonin inscribed to his disciple Nikke. Everything written on these two Gohonzons is exactly the same. The only difference between them lies in the signature (kao) of the Daishonin. Myokaiji’s mandara shows inconsistency in the stroke of the brush.

The idea of the Daishonin having created the “secret code” in the inscription of the Gohonzon against forgery is indeed far-fetched. It is true that the appearance of the Gohonzon inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin went through a gradual evolution. Almost all of the Gohonzons Nichiren Daishonin inscribed were for individual believers who lived apart from one another. It is hard to justify that Nichiren Daishonin had to systematize such individual Gohonzons by creating the”secret code” against forgery.

Kempon Hokke:

Not knowing anything about secret marks indicating dates, I will defer on this point. But the rebuttal is weak just the same. The clincher is that “Myokaiji’s mandara shows inconsistency in the stroke of the brush when talking about the (kao) of the Daishonin.” He is either hedging that the Myokaiji Gohonzon is a forgery [and therefore using a forgery to bolster the argument that the DaiGohonzon is authentic] or he is saying that the only difference is the brushstrokes of the kao. That would mean, the same recipient, the same side inscriptions and everything but only the DaiGohonzon is the one and only Gohonzon for all mankind. Their inconsistencies are beyond belief. They are grasping at straws.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 6: It is unlikely that Nichiren would have allowed such an obscure individual as this mysterious Yashiro to be the sponsor of the Kaidan mandala. By analogy with the past, it would have been a ruler of the country. It certainly was not one of the Atsuhara martyrs, for common farmers did not have last names in those days.

Rebuttal: See the rebuttal of allegation # 4.

Kempon Hokke:

See , our rebuttal to their rebuttal of allegation #4.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 7: The testimony of Nikko not only fails to give any backing to this so-called “Ita Mandara,” but on several genuine mandalas Nikko writes his supreme accolade. These are not the original temples of these mandalas, so no one is claiming that possession of the mandaras gives them any status, but it proves that there was more than one Hommonji, according to Nikko, and no single mandala was designated as the only mandala.

Rebuttal: In his “Transfer Document to Nichimoku (Nikko ato jojo no koto),” whose original exists at Taiseki-ji, Nikko Shonin states: “I transfer to Nichimoku the great Gohonzon of the second year of Koan that was entrusted upon myself, Nikko. It should be enshrined at the Honmon-ji temple.”

Nikko Shonin uses the expression “It should be enshrined at the Honmon-ji temple” to show to the original Gohonzon of Nichiren Daishonin the same respect he extended to the Dai-Gohonzon. Still, this does not negate the uniqueness of the Wooden Gohonzon of October 12, 1279, which was inscribed for a specific purpose, that is, the happiness of all humanity.

Kempon Hokke:

Just as my rebuttal to allegation # 2, this document, contrary to Taisekaji’s assertation of its originality, is not in Nikko’s hand. “If there existed something in Nikko’s hand that mentions the DaiGohonzon the Nichiren Shoshu would have made it widely available. The FACT IS, they have rarely let anything purportedly written by Nikko, Nichimoku or Nichido or others(up to Nichiu), supporting the existence of the DaiGohonzon, to be seen by anyone and those rare times they have, the writings were proven to be copies or forgeries.

Since it is a Taisekaji document and not in Nikko’s hand, it can in no way be cited as an independent source of verification. None of the other Nikko schools believe it is authentic, not one. Nikko has written hundreds of documents, preserved and in his hand. Where are any other citations, to this, “the prime point of the Daishonin’s advent”. Certainly, no DaiGohonzon is mentioned in the Daishonin’s writings nor is it mentioned by Niko, Nitcho, Nishun, Nissho’s or by anybody else.

Nikko never mentions this so-called “dai gohonzon” in any of his authenticated writings. The first mention of the details about the so-called “dai gohonzon” was recorded in the “Kechu Sho” which dates from 1662. Even there, the reference has been tampered with. There are no reliable historical documents that mention the so-called “dai gohonzon”. Nichiren never mentions it, Nikko never mentions it. The first word of it is in 1488, when Nichi-u announces it to the world. This “ita mandara” was attacked by Nichijo, head priest of Kitayama Hommonji, a contemporary of Nichi-u. Nichijo reports that Nichi-u had become a leper, a severe retribution for “having gone against the fundamental intention of the founder of the temple, and the carving the ita mandara, which had never been seen or heard of; he also produced forged books adorned with his own doctrines” (from the “Taisekiji Kyowaku Kempon Sho” or “The Insane Revelation of the Original Buddha at Taisekiji”, written by Nichijo.) Note that Nikko spent the last 36 years of his life at this Kitayamam Hommonji and his grave (which faces Minobusan, not Taisekiji) is there. This Hommonji was probably the best candidate for the “Hommonji” that is mentioned in the forged “transfer document” cited above by Nittatsu.

The name, “Taisekiji” cannot be mistaken for “Hommonji”. Nikko left four authentic mandalas by Nichiren at Kitayama Hommonji. He added, in his own handwriting, the following inscriptions “Hanging it up in the Hommonji, one should make it the esteemed jewel of the Latter Age”. Each of these four mandalas has such an inscription from Nikko. These mandalas ended up at several other Nikko temples, but the reference to “Hommonji” at Kitayama is irrefutable. Of the eight Nikko temples, four received authentic Nichiren Gohonzons. Taisekiji did not receive such a prize from Nikko at all. Nikko never mentions a supreme board mandala. If he left this supreme treasure at Taisekiji, then he NEVER again returned to Taisekiji to see it, nor did he orient his grave toward it. His instructions regarding his grave, in his own handwriting, is that it face Minobusan. This would be an unthinkable breech of etiquette if a “Supreme- gohonzon” was left at Taisekiji. Nikko left Taisekiji after only 18 months there, and he spent the rest of life at Kitayama Hommonji, never returning to Taisekiji again.”

Adding to the Honmonji bait and switch argument of Nittatsu, it is nothing more than Taisekaji’s and SGI tactic, “you say potato and I say avocado” they are the same. We see how winning is losing. In this case, Honmonji means Taisekaji.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 8: The 9th high priest, Nichiu, carved the “Ita Mandara” which had never been seen or heard of. Nichi-jo, head priest of Kitayama Hommonji, a contemporary of Nichiu, reports that, for his sin, Nichiu became a leper for having gone against the fundamental intention of the founder of the temple (Nikko).

Rebuttal: It is a fact that Nichiu had somebody carve a wooden Gohonzon based upon an original Gohonzon of Nichiren Daishonin. On this copied wooden Gohonzon is Nichiu’s signature. It has been housed at the Treasure House of Taiseki-ji. But the Dai-Gohonzon and this copied wooden Gohonzon are two different things. Nichiu reportedly created the above wooden Gohonzon in fear of the possible loss of the Dai-Gohonzon through civil wars that often erupted in those days.

Nichiju’s contention that Nichiu died as a leper is based upon the rumor he reportedly heard from a farmer in his neighborhood. Nichiju is known as Nichiu’s arch enemy. Since the basis of his contention is mere hearsay, it cannot be legitimately used to justify his point.

Kempon Hokke:

The first announcement of the DaiGohonzon occured more than 200 years after Nichiren Daishonin’s passing by Nichiu. Initially, it was not denounced by Minobu or the Kempon Hokke but by Nikko’s other temple, Honmonji. There is not one reference to it before then.

For two hundred long years, not one person ever mentions the “Central Object of Worship for all mankind”. Nichiren Daishonin never writes so much as a word about it, much less teaches about all it’s complicated theoretical underpinnings. No one sees it. No one argues over it. No one discusses it, let alone mentions it for two hundred years until a very tiny family temple called Taisekiji, during the tenure of High Priest Nichiu, says they have such an object. The facts are, the DaiGohonzon, its manifestation and its concepts, has absolutely nothing to do with Nichiren Daishonin.

Taisekaji says it was originally housed in a temple called Kuonji as the principle Object of Worship but, at the same time, when pressed, “why was there nothing written about it?”, they say it was a “secret”. “Secret” is the hallmark of esoteric Buddhism, something the Daishonin fought against for the better part of his life.

Since NST lied and continues to lie about the DaiGohonzon, the central core of their beliefs, then how can anyone follow such a profoundly dishonest sect (sangha)? How can anyone believe their other tenets that go against the Lotus Sutra and the teachings of Nichiren: The transmission to one sole heir [or the Living Master of the Seat of the Law."]; Nichiren as True Buddha; Shakyamuni as husk Buddha; and the Lotus Sutra having lost its power in the Latter Age? Yet, this is exactly what the SGI adopted and continues to adopt: A Living Master of the Seat of the Law (the successive presidents of the SGI); Shakyamuni as husk Buddha; Nichiren as True Buddha; and the Lotus Sutra having lost it’s power in Mappo. They continue to cling to the principles of this dishonest sect, even going so far as adopting the Gohonzon of the worst transgressor, Nichikan Shonin.

As far as Nichiu’s white leprosy, not only did Nichiju teach that this was the reason Nichiu abandoned Taisekaji but there are other accounts from Honmonji that confirm that Nichiu contracted white leprosy. It’s not like this was a big secret like the DaiGohonzon.

Nittatsu/Toda

Allegation 9: The theme of “On Persecutions Befalling the Buddha” is encouragement of the faithful in the wake of the Atsuhara Persecution. Despite the reference to the attainment for the “fundamental intention for coming forth in this world,” it does not have any connection with the so-called “Ita Mandara” which is not mentioned in this letter at all. Taisekiji has used the close date of this letter to back its claims for the date of the Ita Mandala.

Rebuttal: What enabled the Daishonin to fulfill his fundamental purpose behind his advent in this world? At the expense of their lives, the Atsuhara farmers showed actual proof of their solid faith in the Daishonin’s teaching. The establishment of their unshakable faith meant the establishment of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism. In other words, by witnessing their true faith, the Daishonin was able to decide upon the inscription of the eternal object of worship for all humanity.

Nichiren Daishonin was paying close attention to the progress of the Atsuhara incident. While respecting the strong faith displayed by the farmers, he heard the news of their martyrdom. Sensing that the time had finally come for him to inscribe the Gohonzon for all humanity, he did so with those farmers’ lives in his heart.

Kempon Hokke:

Nichiren never mentions the DaiGohonzon period. All the ornate rhetoric and conjecture in the world doesn’t change this fact. These liars and base men won’t even give the Atsuhara Martyr’s their due. The actual proof of the people’s faith in the Daishonin’s teachings was, not begrudging their lives to see the Buddha, willing to give their lives for the sake of the Law. This was the reason for Nichiren Daishonin’s advent.

Allegation # 10 about the Camphor wood also has been argued by Robin, refuting Bentetsu’s allegation, however, it should be noted, the climate in Japan was ~ 5 degrees colder in the time of the Daishonin, making it unlikely that Camphor wood grew in the vicinity of Minobu and certainly not north of the area from which might come a floating log (the river ran north south). Even today, Camphor trees are hardly ubiquitous at that latitude and elevation, contrary to Robin’s assertions.

As far as the following assertion, we admit our error. However. it bolsters our claim that the DaiGohonzon isn’t unique.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Other Allegations 1: In none of the Daishonin’s original Gohonzon there are such descriptions as “One who makes offerings will gain good fortune surpassing the [Buddha's] ten honorable titles” and “One who slanders will have his head broken into seven pieces.”

Rebuttal: Six of the original Gohonzon of Nichiren Daishonin have
these inscriptions. They are:

1) Gohonzon inscribed in August 1278 (housed at Kaicho-ji, Kyoto).
2) Gohonzon inscribed in August 1278 (housed at Honno-ji, Kyoto).
3) Gohonzon inscribed on November 21, 1278 (housed at Kocho-ji,
Okamiya).
4) Gohonzon inscribed on February 2, 1279 (housed at Joko-in,
Nakayama).
5) Gohonzon inscribed on February 2, 1279 (housed at Juryo-ji, Kuwana)
6) Gohonzon inscribed in July 1279 (housed at Kocho-ji, Okamiya)

Kempon Hokke:

We admit our error here. The assertion about the side inscription by Bentatsu was faulty. However, this just goes to show that, if anything, the DaiGohonzon was NOT unique among Nichiren Gohonzons.

We have successfully refuted Nittatsu’s and Toda’s assertions that the DaiGohonzon is the unique and supreme mandala for all mankind.

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